This paper was presented at
Psychology: The Indian Contribution
National Conference on
Indian Psychology, Yoga and Consciousness
organised by the Indian Council of Philosophical Research
at the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education
Pondicherry, India, 10-13 December 2004

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Unveiling consciousness: Vedantic theory of personality revisited

Pramod Kumar Rai & Guru Onkar Dev — Dr. H.S. Gaur University, Sagar.

The concept of personality developed in the Upanishads has an inbuilt mechanism to achieve real happiness and peace. The most elaborate analysis of the structure of human personality is to be found in Vedantic psychology. Human personality is a multi dimensional phenomenon and can be described as a physical/ mental/spiritual continuum. The first three components are different modes of expression of the fundamental energy envisaged as trigunas (tamas, rajas and satva). The Vedic account refers to personality as a 5-layered entity (pancha kosh) comprising of the material body (anamaya kosh), the vital or instinctual component (pranamaya kosh), the mental or psychological component (manomaya kosh), the supramental component (vigyanmaya kosh), and the fifth dimension of pure bliss (anandmaya kosh). At the present stage of human evolution, cosmic knowledge and the pure bliss of immorality are for most people, no more than mere hidden potentials.

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